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Preparing for the Workplace: Charting a Course for Federal Postsecondary Training Policy 2 Overview of Postsecondary Training Institutions and Programs Federal programs supporting postsecondary training for work cannot be understood apart from the institutions where this training takes place. The federal government does not directly provide training except—and it is a major exception—for training for its own employees, including the military. Instead, federal programs operate through a set of diverse institutions over which Washington has varying (and often quite limited) influence and which frequently have multiple purposes in addition to those established by federal mandate. This chapter presents an overview of these institutions and examines the array of federal programs that have grown up to support postsecondary training. The following chapter identifies and assesses concerns that have arisen about the ability of these institutions and programs to provide the nation with a highly skilled work force. INSTITUTIONS OF POSTSECONDARY TRAINING The landscape of postsecondary training has become increasingly complex. At midcentury, vocational education was found predominantly in high schools. High school vocational programs have recently faded in importance as enrollments declined. They have declined for a variety of reasons, including the continuing low status of vocational education, the emphasis on academic achievement during the 1980s, and changes in state policies, such as increasing the number of academic courses required to receive a high school diploma.
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Preparing for the Workplace: Charting a Course for Federal Postsecondary Training Policy Meanwhile, occupation-oriented education has become a key course of study at community colleges and postsecondary technical institutes, supplemented by training in area vocational schools that enroll both secondary and postsecondary students. In a wide variety of fields, profit-making, privately owned proprietary trade schools offer courses that require from a few months to 3 or 4 years to complete. Short-term job training programs, funded by both the states and the federal government, have spurred the establishment of special community-based training organizations that serve the clients of these government programs almost exclusively. Employers provide a great deal of formal and informal training to their employees and contract with vendors and consultants as well as with schools for additional courses. Employers also cooperate with labor unions to sponsor apprenticeship programs for individuals seeking to enter certain occupations. In addition to these major providers of training, which we will examine more closely below, other organizations, such as professional associations, also help give people needed job skills. Community and Technical Colleges The most noticeable change in the landscape of American postsecondary education in the past 30 years has been the phenomenal growth and increasingly vocational orientation of publicly funded 2-year colleges. Community and technical colleges have grown and expanded more quickly than any other level of postsecondary education. Enrollment at such institutions grew from 740,000 in the fall of 1963 to 4.9 million in the fall of 1990. Of all undergraduate enrollment in 2- and 4-year colleges and universities more than 40 percent can be found in community and technical colleges. In the fall of 1990, part-time students accounted for 65 percent of public, 2-year college enrollments (National Center for Education Statistics, 1992c). Because many students at these institutions are not enrolled for a full academic year, the total number of students who participate at some point in the year is quite a bit larger than that reported in annual fall enrollment statistics. For the academic year 1989-90, the National Center for Education Statistics (1992a:xxiii) estimated a full-year enrollment in public, 2-year institutions of just over 7 million students. There are approximately 1,000 community or technical colleges in the United States. This represents a meteoric increase: there were 297 in 1949 and only 520 in 1967 (National Center for Education Statistics, 1992c:237). These colleges are now spread fairly evenly across the nation, although the percentage of the population enrolled varies from state to state. Despite the existence of some large institutions, most community colleges are fairly small. Thirteen percent reported a head-count enrollment of under 1,000 in the fall of 1990; two-thirds had fewer than 5,000 students.
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Preparing for the Workplace: Charting a Course for Federal Postsecondary Training Policy Notable exceptions include Miami Dade Community College, with nearly 44,000 full- and part-time students, and the Houston Community College System, with over 36,000 students (National Center for Education Statistics, 1992c:212-213). Historically, most public, 2-year colleges were created by the local community. Community colleges often evolved from junior colleges with an academic transfer orientation or from technical colleges. Two-year postsecondary institutions were often administered by local officials along with the public primary and secondary schools. They became increasingly comprehensive in the 1970s and 1980s, offering a broad menu of liberal arts, technical, and vocational education. This is true even of many institutions, such as those in South Carolina, that continue to be called technical colleges. Tuma (1992:44) estimated that by 1990 over two-thirds of the students in public, 2-year colleges who had selected a course of study were in vocational programs. Community colleges, to a greater degree than other colleges and universities, are creatures of state and local governments. On average, they get two-thirds of their revenues from these sources, while 18 percent come from tuition and only 5 percent from the federal government (National Center for Education Statistics, 1992d:16). Their dependence on local governments has declined over the past 30 years, while state support has grown. In 1958, localities provided just under 45 percent of all community college revenues (Breneman and Nelson, 1981:17), but, by 1990, that had fallen to under 15 percent. Today, in at least 18 states, community colleges no longer receive any local funding. State governments now provide more than half of all community college revenues (Honeyman et al., 1991:7-8). State and local funding is usually given through formula-driven allocations based on enrollments (for the majority of the funds) and through special appropriations linked to other state initiatives, such as economic development or worker retraining. Community colleges are unique in higher education for their open-door status. They are comparatively inexpensive: annual tuition and fees for instate residents averaged $962 in the academic year 1991-1992 (National Center for Education Statistics, 1992c:308). Since most students enroll part-time, costs are even lower. State and local governments generally do not explicitly restrict or cap enrollment, although most not limit enrollments at their 4-year institutions. Thus, community college enrollments tend to reflect student demand. Virtually all community college students commute to the college campus, so the college must appeal to the local citizens. To increase enrollment, the college must draw from the local population. The college must either increase the participation rate of traditional students, appeal to adults or other nontraditional groups, or ride a wave of population growth. Over
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Preparing for the Workplace: Charting a Course for Federal Postsecondary Training Policy half the students are 25 years of age or older, and, in 1990, 22 percent of community college students were racial minorities and 57 percent were women (National Center for Education Statistics, 1992c). Community colleges might accurately be described as service conglomerates. They provide many different kinds of services to many different kinds of students. Community colleges offer both credit programs leading to associate degrees (typically requiring 2 years of full-time study) and shorter certificate courses in a variety of fields. In the hierarchy of programs within vocational education, those offered by community colleges are clearly at the top; they are longer than those offered by other institutions, more intensive, with relatively more programs in sophisticated and capital-intensive areas like electronics, computing, and computer assisted design/computer assisted manufacturing (CAD/CAM), and with more extensive requirements for related academic coursework as well as general education or "breadth" requirements. In most communities, these institutions are the only providers of postsecondary credit courses (those that can be counted toward baccalaureate degrees). Other providers tend to offer only noncredit courses. Technical colleges or institutes, where they exist, have much in common with community colleges, although they may remain more narrowly focused on vocational fields of study and offer relatively few academic courses. They usually offer 2-year degree programs leading to an associate of science or associate of applied science degree as well as shorter certificate programs. Community colleges also provide a menu of other services, including remediation, English as a second language (ESL), retraining for displaced workers, training for the hard-to-employ, assistance to local economic development initiatives, and recreation and community service programs. Remediation occupies a large chunk of the curriculum at most community colleges (though much of this coursework is noncredit). Some community colleges also play an important role in providing education and training through federal retraining and second-chance programs like the Job Training Partnership Act (JTPA), Job Opportunities and Basic Skills (JOBS), and adult education. Program administrators often choose community colleges to provide occupational classroom training because these colleges offer a variety of courses at low cost to the federal government (thanks to institutional subsidies from state and local governments). Increasingly, many community colleges work with businesses to provide customized or contract training programs designed to meet the specific needs of individual firms. Customized training courses are usually relatively short (lasting anywhere from several hours to a few weeks) and are often devised by modifying existing courses to fit the specific needs of the sponsoring company. These courses may take place at the contractor's worksite, which
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Preparing for the Workplace: Charting a Course for Federal Postsecondary Training Policy enables the college to use the company's own, perhaps more advanced, equipment. Community colleges, therefore, are the one type of training institution in America that can truly be said to cover the range of training needs that we identified in the first chapter. Their activities attest to the entrepreneurship present in many such institutions. This characteristic potentially puts community colleges in competition with other providers of training in their local areas, at the same time that it creates a wider variety of offerings within the colleges themselves to meet the needs of a wider range of students. Some community colleges, however, are decidedly less entrepreneurial than others, dedicated almost entirely to promoting transfers to 4-year colleges. The contribution of community colleges to qualifying training is growing, according to training surveys conducted by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) (1985, 1992). The proportion of workers citing ''junior college or technical institute'' as a source of qualifying training for their current jobs increased from 5 to 8 percent between 1983 and 1991. In summary, although their diversity makes it difficult to generalize, community colleges have several salient characteristics that explain much of their behavior and performance: The location and character of each community college reflect local decision making and, more recently, state planning and rationalization of service areas. The federal government has had almost no role in the planning or operation of these institutions. Enrollment is local and reflects consumer demand, not centralized planning. Although overall enrollment growth in the last 30 years has been meteoric, the typical community college has experienced considerable fluctuation over this time. State funding has become the most important revenue source. Traditionally, state funding patterns have given community colleges a very strong incentive to increase enrollment. The typical community college is a service conglomerate; it provides many different kinds of services to many different kinds of students and often offers all four of the different types of postsecondary training for the workplace identified in this report. Proprietary Vocational Schools Proprietary schools are for-profit educational institutions that offer primarily short-term, intensive, occupational programs in a single subject or a few related subjects: secretarial and clerical training, computer programming, certain trades, truck driving, cosmetology, and so on. These schools
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Preparing for the Workplace: Charting a Course for Federal Postsecondary Training Policy have private owners who run them as profit-making businesses; while they must have state licenses, they have historically operated outside of and largely invisible to the traditional collegiate world and public oversight bodies. Even more than the technical institutes described above, they focus on providing students with highly structured, occupation-oriented courses of study that stray very little from the skills specifically needed by the occupation in question. While most proprietary programs last less than a year, there are some schools that offer associate and even baccalaureate degrees. Precise information on enrollments in the proprietary sector is difficult to come by, and revenue statistics are largely nonexistent. Until 1987, the federal government, which has annually collected basic statistical data on colleges and universities for many years, did not include proprietary schools in its surveys. Sporadic, ad hoc attempts to collect information on this sector suffer from serious problems of comparability and coverage. Nevertheless, a recent study of the sector (Lee and Merisotis, 1990) reveals that the history of profit-making trade schools dates back well into the nineteenth century and that nearly 1,000 schools enrolled over 300,000 students in the years immediately following the First World War. The U.S. Department of Education estimates that 722,000 students were enrolled in about 4,700 proprietary schools in the fall of 1989 (National Center for Education Statistics, 1992b:7).1 Since programs of study are often short, and new courses begin frequently throughout the year, a larger number of people (1.4 million) were enrolled over the course of the 1989-1990 academic year (National Center for Education Statistics, 1992a:xxiii). While some schools are very large (for example, DeVry Institutes of Technology and Business Training International each enroll over 10,000 students annually), the median fall enrollment was 64 in 1988 (Apling and Aleman, 1990:8). Because they receive no direct government subsidy as community colleges do, proprietary schools are comparatively expensive. Since the Second World War, their fortunes have been tied in important ways to the availability of federal subsidies for their students, first through the G.I. Bill (and its successors) and then through student grant and loan programs that were originally established for students in colleges and universities in the mid-1960s (Lee and Merisotis, 1990:10-11). In 1989-1990, almost 80 percent of the students enrolled half-time or more received grants or loans from federal student aid programs, compared to a little under half of the students at private, nonprofit colleges; about one-third at public, 4-year institutions; and about one-fifth at community colleges.2 (Federal student aid, which will be discussed below, is largely limited to students enrolled at least on a half-time basis.) No reliable statistics are available on the overall revenues from various sources received by these schools, but it is clear that the federal government is of major importance to them.
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Preparing for the Workplace: Charting a Course for Federal Postsecondary Training Policy Proprietary schools enroll somewhat disproportionate numbers of women, minorities, and low-income individuals. They do not appear to be heavily involved in federal second-chance programs like JTPA and JOBS, although some do obtain contracts to serve JTPA and JOBS clients. This tends to occur when lower-priced services are not available through community colleges or other local training organizations. They are also less apt than community colleges to work with businesses on customized training, although again there are exceptions. Because they are highly entrepreneurial (so long as outside funds are available) and unfettered by the rigidities of the academic calendar followed by many community colleges, they can be flexible and responsive in ways that the colleges may not. Area Vocational Schools and Adult Education Schools Following the implementation of the Vocational Education Act of 1963 (VEA), states began to use federal funds to establish new, locally operated vocational schools. In fact, President Johnson was explicit on signing the VEA that states could use the funds made available to them for this purpose (Gallinelli, 1979). Although there are no recent figures available, by 1979 there were over 1,300 such institutions nationally (Galladay and Wulfsberg, 1981). Area vocational schools have changed in nature since their creation. Most of them were established in the 1960s and 1970s as secondary schools, designed to provide richer vocational programs than individual high schools could offer. In the 1970s and 1980s, many began serving adult students as well, usually through relatively short, noncredit programs. As secondary vocational enrollments dwindled in the 1980s, for the reasons mentioned above, and adult enrollments expanded, most area vocational schools became, in fact, predominantly adult institutions. Such schools are not found everywhere, but similar programs are offered in some communities by vocation-oriented adult schools that are also part of the public school system. They offer subjects such as remedial education; preparation for high school general equivalency diploma exams (GED); English as a second language (ESL); avocational and hobby courses; and vocational courses, such as business, marketing, real estate, secretarial, automotive mechanics, air-conditioning maintenance and repair, and other trades. The presence or absence of such schools reflects state policies: in California, they are optional for localities; in Florida, school districts must operate adult schools in 14 counties, while in 14 others the community colleges, rather than school districts, are expected to provide noncredit adult education. In fact, variation among states is particularly important to understanding these institutions. At one extreme, states such as Delaware have begun
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Preparing for the Workplace: Charting a Course for Federal Postsecondary Training Policy to phase out area vocational schools, preferring to incorporate them into existing secondary schools. At the other extreme, Oklahoma attaches great significance to such schools and has developed a set of institutions (the Francis Tuttle School, for example) whose facilities are state-of-the-art. Community-Based Organizations Community-based organizations (CBOs) are responsive to specific, geographically, or ethnically based constituencies. The term came into usage in the 1960s to describe private, nonprofit organizations representing ethnic minorities and low-income groups that were run by representatives of these groups and which oriented their services toward meeting the needs of disadvantaged Americans. Many were created in response to the expansion of federal funding for employment and training programs in the early and mid-1960s. At various times, they received special funding priority, for example, under the now-defunct Youth Employment and Demonstration Projects Act of 1977. At that time, an increasingly diverse set of organizations began to consider themselves CBOs; and the term has evolved to mean any private, nonprofit organization that is representative of a community and provides education, training, employment, and social services to that community. In the employment and training arena, CBOs are still almost entirely dependent on government programs for funding. They provide a range of services, including job development and counseling, job search and placement assistance, classroom skills training, remedial education, vocational exploration and prevocational training, and ESL. Services designed to help clients get jobs are more prevalent in CBOs than are education and training activities (Bailis, 1984), although CBOs account for approximately 20 percent of the classroom training providers in the JTPA program. CBOs appear more likely than other JTPA classroom training providers to serve minorities and high school dropouts. Information on who provided classroom training is missing for at least one-third of JTPA participants who received such training. It is difficult, therefore, to make accurate comparisons among classroom training providers as to the types of clients served or the outcomes of training. Available program data indicate that individuals who receive classroom training from CBOs tend to have shorter stays in JTPA (averaging 21 weeks) and to enter employment at a higher rate than individuals who attend public vocational schools, high schools, and community colleges under JTPA auspices (U.S. Department of Labor, 1992). Given the large number of participants for whom information on classroom training experiences is missing, however, these findings cannot be given great weight. CBOs provide an added degree of flexibility and responsiveness to the
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Preparing for the Workplace: Charting a Course for Federal Postsecondary Training Policy education and training "system" that would not otherwise exist. They are often thought to be particularly adept at certain functions—including recruitment, counseling, and job placement—that more traditional education providers may not wish or be able to provide. Because of their close community ties and commitment to their clients, CBOs provide assistance to groups with marginal access to labor markets who may be bypassed by more mainstream organizations (Grubb and McDonnell, 1991; Bailis, 1987). Apprenticeship Apprenticeship, a centuries-old mechanism for teaching a trade, is a comparatively minor source of training in the United States, especially compared to schools, although it remains important in some occupations. Interest in apprenticeship is growing, however, particularly because of the success that other countries have had in preparing youth for work through apprenticeships. According to the U.S. General Accounting Office (GAO) (1992a:8), apprenticeship consists of "structured, long-term (typically 3 to 4 years), on-the-job training combined with related theoretical instruction, leading to certification of the attainment of journey worker status in a skilled trade." Apprentices work closely with a particular employer. The employer pays the apprentice wages and provides the training costs. Frequently, employers receive funds for apprentices from both local and national trust funds that have been established jointly by unions and employer associations (U.S. Office of Technology Assessment [OTA], 1990:238). Because of this funding mechanism, apprenticeships are concentrated in a few, heavily unionized industries. Although registered apprenticeships exist in over 800 occupations involving 43,000 apprenticeship programs, half of these programs had no active apprentices during the first quarter of fiscal year 1991. Approximately two-thirds of all apprenticeships in the United States are provided in just 20 occupations, primarily in construction and metal trades (U.S. General Accounting Office, 1992a:2,17). There were approximately 283,000 civilian workers in registered apprenticeship programs in 1990. In addition, 44,000 apprentices were being trained in the military, and an estimated 100,000 are trained annually in nonregistered programs (U.S. General Accounting Office, 1992a:2; U.S. Office of Technology Assessment, 1990:137). In the overall context of the U.S. work force, these numbers are quite small. In 1987, registered apprentices comprised only 0.16 percent of the civilian work force (U.S. Office of Technology Assessment, 1990:236). Apprenticeship in the United States, according to the GAO (1992a:4), "plays a minor and declining role in training United States workers." In fact, during the 1980s, overall employment increased by 18 million, but the number of registered civilian apprentices
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Preparing for the Workplace: Charting a Course for Federal Postsecondary Training Policy dropped by 11 percent. The average age of apprentices in the United States is 29, which means that apprenticeship is not widely used to train students directly out of high school (Clark, 1992:914). The number of workers trained through apprenticeship is limited less by an inability to attract interested workers than by difficulty finding firms to sponsor apprentices. In some industries, there are generally four applicants for every available opening (U.S. General Accounting Office, 1992a:20; U.S. Office of Technology Assessment, 1990:238). In part, this reflects a lack of infrastructure to support apprenticeships outside the unionized trades. Minorities and women have traditionally been underrepresented in apprenticeship programs, though, in recent years, minority participation has increased so that it is now approximately equal to minority representation in the work force as a whole. Minorities now comprise 22.5 percent of all apprentices, a 50 percent increase since 1973. The percentage of female apprentices grew from virtually zero in 1973 to 6.6 percent in 1983. Since then, however, the growth has leveled off; women currently comprise just 7 percent of apprentices. Furthermore, both women and minorities tend to receive apprenticeships in the lowest-paying occupations that offer apprenticeships (U.S. General Accounting Office, 1992a:21-28). The federal government has supported the apprenticeship system since 1934, when it created the Federal Committee on Apprenticeship. Three years later, Congress enacted the National Apprenticeship Act (often called the Fitzgerald Act), under which the federal government began setting standards for apprenticeship programs and officially registering programs that met those standards. Today, federal responsibility for overseeing the apprenticeship system lies with the U.S. Labor Department's Bureau of Apprenticeship and Training (BAT). The BAT's primary responsibilities include promoting apprenticeships, providing technical assistance to potential sponsors, ensuring compliance with equal employment regulations, and registering programs that meet official federal standards. It does not provide direct financial support either to apprentices or to their employers. From 1978 to 1990, BAT's funding (in constant 1982 dollars) and staff size were cut in half (U.S. Office of Technology Assessment, 1990:241). Twenty-seven states currently operate their own state apprenticeship councils. In addition to supporting apprenticeship programs, the councils are also authorized to register apprenticeship programs that meet federal standards and to bestow certificates of completion to apprentices. Evidence indicates that state certification of apprentices has decreased the portability of apprentice certificates, since certification standards may vary from state to state (U.S. Office of Technology Assessment, 1990:239). States play a more important role than the federal government in promoting apprenticeships. According to the GAO (1992a:19), states spent close to three times as much as the BAT on apprenticeships in 1990. While
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Preparing for the Workplace: Charting a Course for Federal Postsecondary Training Policy the GAO does point out that, in many states, resources for apprenticeships will probably be cut within the next few years, under existing funding patterns the federal government has only limited leverage if it wishes to increase its control over the apprenticeship system (U.S. Office of Technology Assessment, 1990:239). In spite of funding constraints, the federal government attempted to increase employer interest in the apprenticeship system through a project known as the Apprenticeship 2000 initiative, begun in 1987. The initiative focused on two areas: improving traditional apprenticeships and expanding apprenticeships to less traditional sectors. As noted above, traditional apprenticeships could be improved by making certificates more portable across state boundaries. The initiative also hoped to expand apprenticeship into new industries, initially by funding demonstration projects through the U.S. Department of Labor's recently created Office of Work-Based Learning (U.S. Office of Technology Assessment, 1990:55). In addition to these extensions of traditional apprenticeship, federal, state, and local governments are experimenting with youth apprenticeships modeled after systems operating in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, and Denmark. The new programs begin as early as the eleventh grade; encompass a 3-year program combining worksite training, high school, and possibly community college; require a contract between employer and student laying out the obligations of each; and lead to a certified competency in an occupational area. Existing demonstration programs are small. According to Jobs for the Future, a sponsor of several youth apprenticeship demonstrations, there were fewer than 2,000 youth apprentices in 1992 (Clark, 1992:922). Employer-Sponsored Training Employer-sponsored training is a sizable enterprise, although, as a decentralized and largely private activity, reliable estimates about it are hard to obtain. An OTA (1990:128-130) summary of various studies estimates the costs of formal, employer-provided training to be $30 billion to $45 billion annually; the costs of formal and informal, on-the-job training range from $105 billion to $210 billion annually. For a variety of reasons, however, OTA and others put little faith in the accuracy of these numbers.3 Nevertheless, it is clear that absolute expenditures are large. On a per worker basis or as a percentage of gross national product (GNP) or payroll, however, the size of these expenditures appears less impressive. For example, the estimate of $44 billion for expenditures on formal training amounted in 1988 to $385 per worker, less than 1 percent of GNP and 1.8 percent of the total compensation that workers received. According to training surveys sponsored by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (1985, 1992), the importance of formal company training programs has
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Preparing for the Workplace: Charting a Course for Federal Postsecondary Training Policy Adult Basic Education (ABE: programs designed for adults functioning at or below the eighth-grade level); Adult Secondary Education (ASE: instruction for adults functioning at the high school level); and ESL. In 1988 the act was amended to supplement Basic Grants with programs designed to improve the literacy skills of people in the workplace and to serve adults with limited proficiency in English. The National Literacy Act of 1991 further amended the Adult Education Act. The highest priority set out in the National Literacy Act is the improvement of programs to ensure the quality of educational services supported by federal funds. This act called for the Secretary of Education to develop indicators of program quality that could be used by state and local programs as models for judging service effectiveness. In addition, the act established a national institute for literacy, state literacy resource centers, work force literacy grants, and optional state literacy councils. Basic State Grants accounted for over 80 percent of the $220 million in federal funds appropriated for adult education in fiscal 1991. Basic Grants are allocated to states by formula based on the number of adults who have not completed high school in each state. States distribute funds to local education agencies and other public and private nonprofit agencies. States and localities supplement the funds they receive from the federal government and, in fact, spend significantly more than the federal government. The U.S. Department of Education estimated that, in fiscal 1992, 3.6 million people would be served through a combination of approximately $240 million in Adult Education Act funds and $560 million in state and local funds (Office of Vocational and Adult Education, 1991:2). In September 1990, the U.S. Department of Education launched a national evaluation of federally supported adult education programs supported by Basic Grants, with a final report due in 1994. In the fall of 1990, a survey of all federally supported providers of adult education instructional service was conducted. This survey presents the best available data on these providers. There were 2,819 in the program year ending June 30, 1990, serving 3.7 million clients during the 1989-1990 program year. Since many individuals participated in the program for less than a year, fewer were enrolled at any one time: about 1.7 million in October 1990, according to the survey. Local programs were diverse in sponsorship and size. They served a median of 168 clients in October 1990, with 12 percent of programs serving over 1,000 clients each and 37 percent serving less than 100 clients each at that time. Sixty-eight percent of the programs were administered by local education agencies and 17 percent by community colleges. Volunteer organizations and community service groups (6 percent), technical institutes (6 percent), and regional educational service agencies or consortia of public school districts (2 percent) accounted for the rest. Sixty-three percent of the students were served by school system programs
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Preparing for the Workplace: Charting a Course for Federal Postsecondary Training Policy and 28 percent by programs administered by community colleges (U.S. Department of Education, 1992). Vocational Rehabilitation The other major U.S. Department of Education effort with a vocational focus is authorized by the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended. In fiscal 1991, federal vocational-rehabilitation expenditures exceeded $1.5 billion. Rehabilitation is provided to enable individuals with disabilities to prepare for and engage in gainful employment to the greatest extent possible. Individuals of all ages are eligible for services that include evaluation, counseling, physical and mental restoration, training, supportive services, and placement. Supportive services are varied, including, for example, interpreter services for the deaf; reader services for the blind; and tools, licenses, equipment, supplies, and management services for vending stands or other small businesses for individuals with severe disabilities (U.S. Department of Education, 1990b). The Rehabilitation Act authorizes federal allocations to state rehabilitation agencies on a formula basis with a matching requirement. In fiscal 1991, state rehabilitation agencies funded through the act served over 940,000 individuals and ''rehabilitated'' over 200,000 individuals. Rehabilitated persons are those who applied for vocational-rehabilitation services, were found eligible to participate, received services, completed their programs, and were found to be eligible for employment upon completion. Sixty percent of the persons rehabilitated were classified as "severely disabled" (e.g., blind, deaf, severe respiratory disorders, etc.) (U.S. Department of Education, 1991). While vocational-rehabilitation is one of the larger programs in the U.S. Department of Education, its postsecondary training component is comparatively small. The training portion of vocational-rehabilitation may include on-the-job training; occupational training at a vocational-rehabilitation center; adjustment training (e.g., interviewing skills, job search assistance, etc.); as well as classroom training in a community college, area vocational school, proprietary school, or 4-year college or university. There are no reliable national estimates for the utilization of these services. However, conversations with state and national vocational-rehabilitation officials indicate that 10 to 15 percent of vocational-rehabilitation participants receive training through a 2- or 4-year college or proprietary school. When participants do receive training through one of these institutions, they must first use Pell grant funds before vocational-rehabilitation funds will be committed. The Job Training Partnership Act The Job Training Partnership Act (JTPA), first enacted in 1982 and administered by the U.S. Department of Labor, is the latest in a series of
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Preparing for the Workplace: Charting a Course for Federal Postsecondary Training Policy federal programs dating back to the 1960s that were designed to provide training and employment assistance to disadvantaged individuals and dislocated workers. It is the major federal program specifically aimed at improving the training and employability of those without jobs. JTPA serves disadvantaged adults and youth through activities authorized under Title II, dislocated workers under a program authorized under Title III (see the following section), and special populations (veterans, Native Americans, and seasonal and migrant farm workers) under Title IV provisions.9 The Job Corps, a largely residential education and training program for youth, is also authorized under Title IV. States have primary responsibility for programs under Titles II and III; the federal government directly administers Title IV programs. Funding for JTPA was $4.1 billion in fiscal 1993, about 10 percent higher (in current dollars) than when the program was created. Funding declined somewhat in current dollars throughout the 1980s for the Title II programs, but Title III and the Job Corps under Title IV grew from $233 million and $640 million, respectively, in program year 1984 to $567 million and $966 million in fiscal 1993. Nonetheless, JTPA funding is significantly lower than federal spending on the Comprehensive Employment and Training Act (CETA), which JTPA replaced. This is true even after excluding CETA expenditures on public service employment (Levitan and Gallo, 1988:19).10 Title II is the centerpiece of JTPA, accounting for about three-fifths of JTPA spending. It and the Job Corps together account for over 80 percent of JTPA funds. In program year 1991 (July 1, 1991–June 30, 1992), 533,100 persons were newly enrolled in Title II, and 526,000 were terminated. Title II services for unemployed adults and out-of-school, unemployed youth included classroom training, on-the-job training, job search assistance, work experience, and other services. Table 2-4 indicates the relative incidence of these services. In reaction to criticisms that CETA funds were spent too heavily on nontraining activities, JTPA originally restricted nontraining expenditures on administration, allowances or stipends, and supportive services to 30 percent of program costs. (The 1992 amendments to JTPA raised this level to 50 percent.) Unlike CETA, which assumed that the poor would need income support while they pursued training, JTPA in practice almost eliminated such assistance in many areas (Levitan and Gallo, 1988:62-63). Several features distinguish JTPA from most other federal training activities. Most important, Title II is similar to a block grant to the states, with important administrative responsibility vested in the states and discretion about whom to serve left to local officials. Worried that too few beneficiaries were seriously disadvantaged, Congress amended JTPA in 1992 to require that, besides being economically disadvantaged, at least 65 percent of the adults and youth served by Title II had to have at least one
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Preparing for the Workplace: Charting a Course for Federal Postsecondary Training Policy TABLE 2.4 Principal Program Activities of JTPA IIA Terminees, 1991 Type of Training Percentage of Terminees Receiving Training On-the-job 15 Classroom/occupational 29 Classroom/basic education 15 Work experience 6 Job-search assistance 15 Othera 20 a Refers to participants who received services that could not be considered as one of the above activities, or participants who received significant amounts of more than one type of activity. SOURCES: U.S. Department of Labor (1993:8), supplemented by information provided to the committee by the U.S. Department of Labor. barrier to employment (such as basic skills deficiencies, receipt of cash welfare payments, disabilities, homelessness, or criminal records).11 Nevertheless, JTPA retains a strong emphasis on state, local, and private sector involvement and responsibility. Title II funds are allocated to the states on the basis of the number of people in poverty and concentrations of unemployed individuals. States pass on about four-fifths of these funds to more than 640 service delivery areas across the nation, based on the same federally determined factors. Each area is overseen by a Private Industry Council, a majority of whose members, appointed by the chief elected officials of the service delivery areas, must represent business. Private Industry Councils and local officials together select an administrative agency to run the program; this can be the council itself, a government agency, or a nonprofit organization. The administering agency can provide services directly but typically contracts them out to schools, community-based organizations, and private vendors. JTPA is a voluntary program; participants hear about it through word of mouth or advertising or are referred by state welfare and employment agencies. After completing applications to establish financial eligibility and assessments to measure academic preparation and job readiness, individuals are assigned to one of the various program services noted above. Youth assigned to classroom training usually utilize services provided by area vocational and high schools; adults tend to get their classroom training from community colleges and, to a much lesser extent, proprietary schools. Some youth and adults receive classroom training from community-based organi
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Preparing for the Workplace: Charting a Course for Federal Postsecondary Training Policy zations. When JTPA participants are referred to community colleges and proprietary schools, they may be placed in regular classes alongside the schools' regular students, or the service delivery area may contract for special classes limited to JTPA enrollees. Another distinguishing feature of JTPA is the use of performance standards in Title II. In its early years, JTPA was directed from the federal level with some restraint. Congress instructed the U.S. Department of Labor to develop performance standards to measure the results of local service delivery area activity. The development of performance standards actually began in the mid-1970s under CETA and has characterized JTPA since the outset. The standards used in the first years of the program specified desired outcome levels for the proportion of adult participants entering employment; the proportion of adult welfare recipients entering employment; average hourly wages; and costs per placement; all measured at the point when participants left (or terminated from) the program. Standards for youth included the proportion entering employment, the positive termination rate, and the costs per positive termination. (A positive termination is one with a positive outcome, such as the participant returned to school or attained specific competencies upon termination from the program.) These standards have been modified over time to emphasize longer-term rather than immediate post-program results and to eliminate the cost standards. Cost standards were widely viewed as encouraging service delivery areas to "cream"; that is, to serve the most job-ready and easiest-to-place applicants to minimize costs rather than to select individuals who would be harder and more expensive to serve. Governors can modify federally determined standards by using optional adjustment models that allow for differences in expected performance based on participant characteristics and local labor market conditions. Service delivery areas that fail to meet the performance standards are given technical assistance by the state but may ultimately be removed from the JTPA program. Service delivery areas that succeed are given financial awards based on the extent to which they exceeded standards. The performance standard system is further advanced in JTPA than in other federal training programs, although the approach is spreading. Follow-up standards since 1989 have replaced termination-based standards for adults and welfare recipients. Youth standards have also shifted to emphasize competency more strongly (see Chapters 3 and 6). In 1992 Congress passed JTPA amendments that made the first major changes to Title II since the program was enacted in 1982. The legislation emphasized targeting services, enhancing program quality, moving toward a comprehensive human service delivery system, and increasing fiscal integrity. Some of the changes in eligibility requirements have been described above. The amendments also require individualized assessments of education, skills, and service needs of each participant so that service strategies
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Preparing for the Workplace: Charting a Course for Federal Postsecondary Training Policy can be tailored and managed individually and provide more intense and comprehensive services to each client. Performance standards were changed to emphasize actual acquisition of skills in addition to job placements. The amendments require better documentation and reporting of costs and stronger procurement and contracting procedures. They promote a greater level of coordination among human resource programs through support for state human resource investment councils (see Chapter 3). The Job Opportunities and Basic Skills Training Program The Job Opportunities and Basic Skills (JOBS) Training Program was created in 1988 as part of the Family Support Act, a major reform of the nation's leading welfare program. That reform, while continuing unchanged cash benefits for poor adults and their dependent children under the Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) program, "sought to shift the balance between permanent income maintenance and temporary support toward the latter" (Gueron and Pauly, 1991:1). JOBS was created to provide adults receiving AFDC with the education, training, and employment that would help them avoid long-term dependence on welfare. To accomplish this, the JOBS program not only required that AFDC recipients undertake education and training in preparation for stable employment, but also provided the necessary supportive services, such as child care, transportation, and medical assistance, to facilitate the goal. JOBS operates as a capped entitlement, with $1 billion authorized for 1991, rising to $1.3 billion in 1995. In September 1991, approximately 560,000 individuals were participating in JOBS (Greenberg, 1992:3). Over the years, states are supposed to include an increasing proportion of the welfare caseload in their JOBS programs, with the percentage rising from 7 percent in 1991 to 20 percent in 1995. Unlike JTPA and other education and training programs, JOBS is at the same time a service and a welfare reform program, in that it seeks to condition welfare receipt on participation in employment-directed services. This mandatory element distinguishes the program from other related activities, although, in reality, limited funding has substantially restricted the mandatory nature of the program. JOBS and JTPA overlap in important ways. Welfare administrators frequently refer JOBS participants to the local JTPA program for training, and JTPA also frequently uses JOBS to pay for supportive services such as child care and transportation. JTPA legislation requires that welfare recipients be served on an equitable basis relative to their incidence in the population. JOBS operates as a significant partnership between states and the federal government. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services provides broad guidelines to states about the makeup of state JOBS pro
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Preparing for the Workplace: Charting a Course for Federal Postsecondary Training Policy grams. All state JOBS programs must include four basic services: educational activities below the postsecondary level, job skills training, job readiness activities, and job development or job placement activities. State JOBS programs must also include two of the following four components: group and individual job search, on-the-job training, work supplementation, and community work experience. Postsecondary education is one optional activity among many that states may offer. Within these guidelines, states have much flexibility in developing programs. In particular, the law provides that states must meet program requirements "to the extent that resources permit." Thus, there are significant state-to-state differences in the character of JOBS programs (Gueron and Pauly, 1991:56). Overall, however, states have opted for greater emphasis on investment in human capital than on work attachment strategies. The responsibility for financing JOBS is also shared among federal and state governments. Whereas JTPA is fully funded by the U.S. Department of Labor, states must provide matching funds to be able to draw down their portion of the JOBS-capped entitlement. The federal matching rate is 90 percent up to each state's Work Incentive (WIN) Program allocation for 1987. Above that amount, the federal government matches JOBS expenditures at the Medicaid rate or 60 percent, whichever is higher. Thus, the $1 billion allocated to JOBS for 1991 represents funds available for state matching. Due to state budget constraints, states have not been able to draw down their entire allocation. Of the federal funds available in 1991, states spent only $591 million. State allocations in that year ranged from $1.2 million in North Dakota to $160 million in California. Expenditures as a percent of available funds ranged from 11 percent in Mississippi to 100 percent in several states (Greenberg, 1992:Appendix D). Of particular interest to the committee is the extent to which JOBS participants are offered postsecondary training opportunities in community colleges, proprietary schools, or area vocational schools. While much of the education and training in JOBS takes place below the postsecondary level (because there are substantial numbers of young high school dropouts on AFDC), a JOBS participant can enroll in postsecondary training in two ways. First, if an individual is deemed eligible for, but is not already attending, a postsecondary institution prior to JOBS participation, the state may assign that individual to a postsecondary activity. Second, if an individual is already attending a postsecondary institution prior to participating in JOBS, the state may approve the activity as self-initiated education and training, thereby making the participant eligible for support services. In either case, attendance at a postsecondary institution is at the discretion of the state. One important difference between these two modes of entry into a postsecondary institution is the mix of services and activities for which the
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Preparing for the Workplace: Charting a Course for Federal Postsecondary Training Policy state either can or must pay. Whether the postsecondary activity is self-initiated or referred, the state must pay for necessary child care and transportation costs. If the state refers the participant to the postsecondary activity, the state may pay the cost of the activity (i.e., tuition and fees). If the state approves the postsecondary activity as self-initiated education and training, JOBS regulations do not allow the state to pay for the cost of the activity. Greenberg (1992:i) found that approximately 25 percent of JOBS participants were attending a postsecondary institution, whether referred or self-initiated. In many states, basic education is the largest JOBS component activity. In September 1991, 32 percent of all participants were assigned to this category. Basic education includes high school or GED completion for adults, high school completion for teen parents, and ESL (Greenberg, 1992:7-8). While states have operated under requirements relating to program participation rates since JOBS' inception, the program does not yet use performance standards of the type found in JTPA. The Family Support Act requires the Secretary of Health and Human Services to make recommendations to Congress on performance standards for the JOBS program by October 1, 1993. Dislocated Worker Programs The federal government provides assistance to dislocated workers through a number of mechanisms, including those targeted at dislocated workers as well as those provided to all individuals in need. The two major federal programs aimed specifically at dislocated workers are Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) and the Economic Dislocation and Worker Adjustment Assistance Act (EDWAA), both of which are administered through the U.S. Department of Labor (National Commission for Employment Policy, 1991a). A variety of smaller discretionary grant programs have been created in recent years under programs such as Defense Conversion Adjustment (1990), Clean Air Employment Transition Assistance (1990), and Defense Diversification (1992). The National Governors' Association (private communication) has estimated that there are at least 18 different federal dislocated worker programs, each with different eligible grantees, administrative structures, eligible participants, allowable services, and performance goals. Not all of these programs provide training, however. We concentrate here on the two main dislocated worker programs that have a training focus, TAA and EDWAA. TAA was established in 1962 and has been amended several times, most recently by the Omnibus Trade and Competitiveness Act of 1988. TAA provides two types of services. First, TAA funds trade readjustment allowances, which extend unemployment insurance benefits up to 52 addi
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Preparing for the Workplace: Charting a Course for Federal Postsecondary Training Policy tional weeks for workers certified by the U.S. Department of Labor as having become unemployed or underemployed as a result of increased imports. Under the 1988 amendments, workers must participate in an approved job training program in order to receive readjustment cash benefits, unless they receive a waiver that job training is either inappropriate or unavailable. In fiscal 1990, the federal government provided close to $100 million in cash benefits to 19,545 displaced workers. One recent study (Corson et al., 1993) found that over 85 percent of readjustment recipients came from the manufacturing sector. In addition to cash benefits, TAA also funds job training services for certified dislocated workers. As part of its job training program, TAA offers occupational information and counseling, on-the-job training, vocational-technical training, remedial education, job search assistance, and relocation allowances. In fiscal 1990, 19,867 displaced workers received some form of job services, the bulk of them in the form of direct training, rather than job search or relocation assistance. 12 While the state employment agencies usually offer the job search assistance and relocation allowances directly, they usually contract for the training services from both public and private vendors. Although TAA training is an entitlement program, training costs are subject to an annual $80 million cap. Currently, TAA is considerably smaller than it was at its height in 1980, when it provided some 500,000 people with trade readjustment allowances totaling over $1.6 billion (Levitan and Gallo, 1988:107). Only a handful of these received any readjustment training. The next year, however, the elimination of payments that increased weekly unemployment insurance benefits and the limitation of trade readjustment allowances to an extension of unemployment insurance benefits—passed as part of the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1981—significantly reduced the number and cost of trade readjustment allowances. EDWAA became operational in 1989 and replaced the original Title III of JTPA through legislation in the Omnibus Trade and Competitiveness Act. EDWAA changed Title III significantly by emphasizing rapid response capabilities to assist workers before a plant closure or major layoff occurs, including labor-management cooperation to prepare for layoffs; a mandated role for the substate areas that deliver EDWAA services—at least 60 percent of the state's funds are to be passed down to substate areas; intensive retraining services to dislocated workers; and improved linkages with the unemployment insurance system, the Employment Services, and TAA. With federal appropriations of $527 million in program year 1991, EDWAA served about 330,000 people. EDWAA provides for such services as job search assistance, on-the-job training, occupational skills training, entrepreneurial training, and basic skills training. The substate grantee may provide all or some of the services
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Preparing for the Workplace: Charting a Course for Federal Postsecondary Training Policy directly or may contract out for them to a variety of public and private organizations. Community colleges and vocational-technical schools are the most frequent providers of occupational classroom training. Most substate areas supplement public service providers with proprietary schools, which offer shorter, more intensive training with more flexible scheduling. CBOs and unions also provide classroom training, although far less frequently than community colleges, vocational-technical schools, and proprietary schools (Corson et al., 1993). TAA and EDWAA both address the needs of similar populations, offer similar services, and are administered by the U.S. Department of Labor. Yet, the two programs have developed distinctly different characters. EDWAA strongly resembles JTPA Title II and is characterized by training programs of comparatively short duration. TAA, on the other hand, emphasizes longer-term training and provides cash benefits so that workers have the flexibility to undertake longer-term training. Summary The federal government, through these and other programs, is an active partner in postsecondary training. As these program descriptions indicate, though, the federal approach is piecemeal. Goals, services, and financing and administrative arrangements are quite variable. Federal oversight and administration is divided among numerous executive departments; congressional responsibility is equally decentralized among many committees and subcommittees. There is no one place in the federal structure where postsecondary training as a whole is considered. Instead, this array of programs intersects with the assortment of providers described earlier in the chapter to compose a complex matrix of postsecondary training opportunities. We will now turn to the question of how well or badly this matrix of activities meets the training needs of the nation. NOTES 1. Enrollment estimates from the National Center for Education Statistics, while the best available, probably understate proprietary school enrollments. The Center's enrollment survey is sent to just a sample of less-than-2-year proprietary institutions and the results are "weighted up" statistically to determine enrollments for the universe of such schools. Since proprietary schools open and close at a rapid rate, it has been difficult to keep the sampling frame up to date so that it yields reliable estimates. 2. These data were tabulated by the committee using data from the National Postsecondary Student Aid Study, 1989-1990, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Education. 3. Some of the reasons for this include poor response to surveys from firms, unreliable memories and perceptions of training on the part of individuals queried in employee surveys, and the difficulty of distinguishing between "training time" and "work time" when employees
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Preparing for the Workplace: Charting a Course for Federal Postsecondary Training Policy are trained informally on the job (U.S. Office of Technology Assessment, 1990:128). In addition, many firms do not know what they spend on training, and data that are available are usually not comparable from firm to firm (Kochan and Osterman, 1991:22). 4. The exact number of programs depends on how one defines the term program. The JTPA, for example, includes a number of different programs for disadvantaged youth and adults. Likewise, student financial assistance includes several grant and loan programs and a program that provides work-study support for students. We have not attempted to develop the definitive list of activities that can be distinctly identified as separate programs. The activities that we identify in Table 2.1 as supporting postsecondary training are part of a broader set of federal activities that provide training and other employment-related services to adults and youth. In a July 24, 1992, letter to Senator Edward M. Kennedy, Chair of the Senate Labor and Human Resources Committee, the General Accounting Office (GAO) listed 125 programs (not counting the U.S. Defense Department's training of active-duty personnel, which we include in our calculations) with funding of $16.4 billion in fiscal 1991. Most programs were quite small--under $50 million each. 5. See footnote 1, Chapter 1, on why the amount of federal assistance available to students exceeds the costs of that assistance to the federal government. 6. Students enrolled in short programs of study have lower loan limits. 7. For example, 23 percent of all Stafford borrowers attended proprietary schools, but 42 percent of Stafford defaulters came from the proprietary sector (U.S. General Accounting Office, 1988:7). In another study, the GAO found that of 1.1 million students from accredited proprietary schools who were in loan repayment status in 1989, nearly 300,000 individuals owed over $712 million in defaulted loans (U.S. General Accounting Office, 1990a). 8. The act's name was also changed, adding "applied technology" to the historical emphasis on vocational education. 9. Until the 1992 JTPA amendments, Title II-A combined year-round programs for adults and young people, and Title II-B authorized a summer employment and training program for youth during the school vacation period. The reauthorization restricted Title II-A to adults and created a new Title II-C authorizing year-round programs for both in-school and out-of-school youth. Not less than 50 percent of those served under Title II-C are to be out-of-school youth. Title II-B continues as a summer youth program. 10. Public Service Employment, a job creation program, began in the mid-1970s as a response to rising unemployment rates. It became quite controversial, however, and was eliminated when JTPA was created. Amendments to JTPA in 1992 added permanent authority for up to $15 million annually to be used for a small program of public service employment for disaster relief. 11. While Title II primarily serves economically disadvantaged youth and adults, Congress has created a special 10 percent window that allows up to 10 percent of participants within a given service delivery area to be people who are not economically disadvantaged, but who face a serious barrier to employment. 12. Since workers receiving cash benefits are also required to participate in job training unless they receive a waiver, there is clearly a significant amount of overlap between individuals receiving cash benefits and those receiving job training. Corson et al. (1993:xviii) found that 47 percent of readjustment recipients received training through TAA. This means that just over 30,000 people received at least one kind of service (either cash benefits through trade readjustment allowance, or training through TAA, or both) in fiscal 1990. More workers received job services than trade readjustment allowances because such services were provided to dislocated workers who were still receiving regular unemployment insurance benefits and were thus not eligible for trade readjustment allowances.
Representative terms from entire chapter: